Bite Size Book Reviews

I have some kindle freebies in this week’s list!   (Correct as of this article. Check the price before ordering) It’s an even more eclectic collection than usual, with settings in first century Rome, 1880 New York City, turn-of-the-21st-century Egypt, and pre-civil war Missouri as well as modern American settings.  Audiobook, kindle and paperback!      1. Chasing the Lion, audiobook by Nancy Kimball **This reader is one of the best I have ever heard. The audio version is a finalist in the 2015 Audiobook Publisher’s Association Audio awards in the Inspy/Faith-Based Fiction category** The Christianity in this book is a primary theme.  It’s set in 35AD, when Christianity was serious business. The romance was developed gradually and naturally. Again, faith played a pivotal role in all of the book’s relationships. The violence was horrific at times, but it was appropriate to the setting of the book, as were the attitudes toward slavery and (very minor) descriptions of sexual behaviors. This was a long audiobook – 15 hours! – but definitely worth listening to.   2. The Edge of Light, kindle, by Ann Shorey This was an interesting antebellum novel set in Missouri, among slaveholding middle-class tradesmen. We often see slavery associated Read More

Bite-Size Book Reviews

It was another week or reading and rereading some of my favorite authors. I even read a nonfiction book!   1. The Rose of Winslow Street, audiobook, by Elizabeth Camden Another creative historical romance from this author. The heroine and the boys are good characters. I liked the way the hero was training up his sons, and his ability to identify fragrances was interesting, but otherwise he wasn’t very appealing. (That doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book; I don’t judge a book by whether or not I personally like the characters.) There is a secondary storyline about the father and his inventions that leads to changes in family dynamics – nicely done! My favorite scene in the novel is when the hero meets his next door neighbor and they compare battle scars. Funny!     2. Back on the Streets, paperback, by Deborah Ross This nonfiction book is a testimony of God’s redemption. The author’s story of childhood poverty, neglect and abuse – and the healing, transforming grace and power of God – should be read by every human being. I met Deborah at a local ACFW meeting and purchased her book directly; it is not easily available. There Read More

Bite-size Book Reviews

Do you like audiobooks? I get so much more work done, around the house and in my sewing room, if I have an audiobook to listen to! I could never just sit down and listen to one, but I like them when I’m working or driving or at the gym!     1. Dawn of Christmas, audiobook, by Cindy Woodsmall The main characters in this book are not your average Amish folks. The heroine is interesting, obedient and also willful. When she meets a like-minded man, they construct a false courtship scenario to escape the pressures of their family-oriented community. They like each other, but they have trouble trusting each other. In addition to being an entertaining novel, it’s a thought-provoking story about lies, relationships, and seeking God’s will. I liked this book.     2. Daughter of Time, paperback, by Josephine Tey RETRO READ! Last week, I micro-reviewed Elizabeth Peters’s novel, The Murders of Richard III. It was a fun read, but it made me want to investigate further. As a homeschooling mother, I enjoyed teaching history to my sons, but none of us remember the War of the Roses in any detail (or with any enthusiasm.) So instead Read More

Bite-Size Book Reviews

  I had sewing and cleaning to do this week, so I have more audiobooks than printed ones, and it’s quite a variety of genres! This collection has a little of everything: Historical fiction, action/adventure, Amish romance, a fun mystery and a classic detective story from Agatha Christie!  Which is your favorite genre? Let me know in the comments.     1. Against the Tide, audiobook, by Elizabeth Camden “Against the Tide” is the first Elizabeth Camden book I have read. It’s set in Boston at the turn of the 20th century. This novel is creative at every step – the heroine is a Turkish orphan, the hero was raised by the villain, she works as a translator for the military and he fights the opium trade. It depicts the financial insecurity of middle-class workers (especially women)in that era, drug addiction in children and adults, and significant religious differences between the two main characters. Wow. I immediately picked up another of her novels and will review that one later.   2. N or M? paperback, by Agatha Christie RETRO READ! This is the third of Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence detective novels. The first, “The Secret Adversary”, was set immediately Read More

Bite-size Book Reviews – Cathe’s Weekly Reading Digest

Bite-size, digest… Get it? An intestinal play on words there… and my kids say I have no sense of humor. HA! I did quite a bit of writing this week, especially as I participated in Jeff Goins’s Intentional Blogging Challenge, but I still managed to read several books. This week’s books were all mystery/suspense, in a variety of styles, from different time periods.   “Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap”, both audio, by Rex Stout Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin make fun reading while I am sewing. Rex Stout’s stories span several decades; these two are set during WWII, and that seemed to give them more substance. Michael Pritchard reads most of these books. I like them. “Baggage Claim”, kindle, by Amanda Tru This short book was all action. The characters jumped right in, ran hard until the end and then it ended. The chase was exciting, but I never got to know the characters. Not a bad book, though. Hopefully it’s only the introduction to a series that will have longer stories and more character development. I would read the series. I really only downloaded it because I am writing a story with that same name and I Read More

Ten Quotations From a Fictional Role Model

Amelia Peabody is a fictional character. Amelia Peabody is a fictional character. Amelia Peabody is a fictional character. That makes me so sad! For many years, she was my role model. I wanted to be Amelia Peabody. It wasn’t just that she had an adventurous life; she was an amazing woman! She inspired me to be brave and tackle my problems, whether they were minor difficulties or seemingly insurmountable. She was a feminist who didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. She truly adored and respected her husband. Her attitude toward her son… well, that was an inspiration to me during my mothering years. I appreciated her honesty – and sometimes her tactful discretion. (oops, right. Fictional character.) I read my first Elizabeth Peters book, Naked Once More, 26 years ago. I remember it clearly – I moved through the entire day with that clunky hardcover book in front of me, propped up on the counter while I made sandwiches for lunch and washed dishes. Okay, that’s a lie. I didn’t wash dishes that day. I read it while nursing the baby, totally ignoring that sweet little face. I turned on the television and let the boys watch cartoons all afternoon so Read More